Sometimes transliterated as: snānaṃ, snana, samāvartanaṃ, samavartana, āplavanaṃ, aplavana
Snātakaṃ is the saṃskāraḥ performed after the completion of traditional studies. It literally means 'taking the ceremonial bath after finishing traditional vedic study and returning from the teacher's place.' This is also considered as the gateway for marriage.
But it is not a compulsory ritual before marriage. If a boy wants to remain bachelor/brahmacārī all his life or if a boy completes his vedic education near his father (not residing in his guru's house for education) this ritual is not applicable.
na tu samāvartanaṃ vivāhāngaṃ| tēna yaḥ pitṛgṛhē ēva adhītavēdaḥ tasya asamāvṛttasya sambhavatyēva vivāhaḥ|Medhātithi, one of the oldest and most famous commentators on the Manusmṛti, states that who learnt veda in his father's house may enter on matrimony without this ritual as there is no return from teacher's house.
- return from teacher's house to one's home